C’s Recap – Hernandez Triples Twice To Trip Up AquaSox

Vancouver Canadians Reggie Pruitt

Reggie Pruitt heads home with the first run of the game after a leadoff walk.

C's RecapJavier Hernandez reminded Vancouver Canadians fans why he was the people’s choice last season. The Venezuelan catcher—who won the 2016 Ossie Chavarria Award winner as the Fan’s Favourite Player—delivered two key triples to drive in three runs to help the C’s double up the Everett AquaSox 8-4 at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday night.

Canadians starter Juan Nunez set the tone early by pumping gas in the mid-to-high 90’s to retire the AquaSox in order in the first. The C’s would get on the board first in their half of the first when Reggie Pruitt worked a leadoff walk against lefthander Michael Suarez. Pruitt would take off running on a 3-2 pitch to Lance Jones, who doubled to left to score Pruitt. Suarez would balk Jones to third and Norberto Obeso got a run batted in for putting the ball in play with a ground ball to second to make it 2-0 Vancouver after one.

The AquaSox would get their first run come in the second on a walk, a double and a groundout before tying it in the third on a single, a wild pitch and a throwing error. Hernandez tried to retire Greifer Andrade on a throw to first to complete a strikeout but he air mailed it instead, allowing Eugene Helder to scamper home with the tying run. Nunez would wind up with three strikeouts in the inning.

Meanwhile, the C’s had worked up the pitch count against Suarez in the second with a two-out rally that saw Mattingly Romanin reach base on an infield single to second before Kevin Vicuna grinded out an at-bat by fouling off a number of pitches before working the count to ball four. Pruitt would hit the ball hard but right at shortstop Osmy Gregorio to end the threat.

Vancouver Canadians Lance Jones

Lance Jones had a bunt single and would later score in the third inning.

Vancouver would take the lead again in the third when Jones dropped down a bunt single down the third base side before stealing second, reaching third on a wild pitch and scoring on a Bryan Lizardo base hit. Hernandez would then deliver his first triple of the night to cash in Lizardo to restore the Canadians’ two-run lead. Walks by Owen Spiwak and Romanin would load the bases but Vicuna flied out to leave the bases load.

Vancouver Canadians Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez stands at third after the first of his two triples on Wednesday.

The AquaSox would trim the lead to one in the fourth with a Gregorio single to left that eluded a diving Romanin at third. Gregorio moved to second on an errant pickoff throw by Nunez and to third on a fly ball. Lefty Grayson Huffman was summoned from the bullpen to get the final out but he walked the first man he faced before a base hit by Joseph Rosa scored Gregorio.

Huffman ran into more trouble when he allowed a bunt single to Andrade. It was a do-or-die play for Huffman, who dove for the ball up the first base side and tried to shovel the ball up with his glove but he could not scoop it cleanly. A double by Jonas Lantigua pushed Andrade to third and it looked like things were about to go off the rails for Huffman. However, the Grayson Community College product limited the damage to a single run. Joe Venturino knocked in the tying run with a groundout to third but another groundout and a strikeout stranded the potential go-ahead run at third. Hernandez had to complete the strikeout with a throw down to first and his aim was true to end the inning. Gregorio was the strikeout victim and he banged his batting helmet against the ground in frustration at first as the Sox missed a golden opportunity to grab their first lead of the night.

The fifth inning saw the C’s put together another rally that began with a Lizardo double against Everett southpaw Tyler Watson. A one-out Deiferson Barreto single pushed Lizardo to third but he could not score on a shallow fly ball to center from Spiwak. Romanin kept the inning alive with a walk to load up the bases before Vicuna heard ball four to finally bring in Lizardo with the go-ahead run to make it 5-4. Pruitt jumped on a 3-1 pitch but he lined out to left field to leave three men on base.

Huffman would shut down Everett in the sixth, only allowing a baserunner on a fielding error by Romanin at third. The C’s would get to work in the bottom half of the frame when Jones singled and Obeso reached on an error at short by Gregorio. Hernandez would then triple to right field for the second time to score Jones and Obeso to pad the Vancouver lead to 7-4. Hernandez would get to touch home plate on a Barreto base knock. Barreto would steal second but the C’s would have to settle for three runs.

That was all the scoring in this one. Of note, Jones would sky a popup that glanced off the glove of Gregorio at short in the seventh and Hernandez joined Jones in the three-hit club with a single in the eighth.

Orlando Pascual claimed the seventh and eighth innings for the C’s and allowed just a double in two scoreless frames. Jared Carkuff slammed the door shut with a one-hit ninth. Barreto made a nice play at short by ranging deep into the hole and making a strong throw to retire the speedy Helder. Carkuff then struck out Lantigua swinging to end the contest, giving Huffman his first victory of the season.

Lizardo and Barreto were one hit back of the clubhouse leaders Hernandez and Jones with two apiece. Romanin was aboard three times with a single and two free passes while Vicuna heard ball four twice. Jones and Barreto had stolen bases but Spiwak was caught trying to swipe second.

The C’s pitchers had nine strikeouts and two walks on the night. Nunez whiffed five, Huffman had two while Pascual and Carkuff each had one. The groundout leader was Huffman with five.

Radar Gun Rundown

Vancouver Canadians Juan Nunez

Juan Nunez reached 98 miles per hour on the radar gun Wednesday night.

radar_gun_iconJuan Nunez had the widest range of velocity on the night. He was clocked as low as 77 miles per hour and as high as 98. He was consistently in the 94-96 range. Grayson Huffman touched 96 but was around 91-93 with some offerings at 84. Orlando Pascual reached 94 at one point with a low of 77 as well as 80-82. He ranged around 90-91 with his fastball. Jared Carkuff was as low as 85 and topped out at 93.


Vancouver Canadians Riley Adams

Blue Jays 2017 third-round pick Riley Adams brings his catching gear to the bullpen.

The first big roster shuffle of the season took place earlier in the day. Catcher Yorman Rodriguez and shortstop Jesus Severino were sent down to the Bluefield Blue Jays as their season begins in Greeneville Thursday evening. Coming to Vancouver are six picks from the 2017 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. They are listed below with their uniform numbers.

  • #17. Riley Adams, C, 3rd round – University of San Diego
  • #30. Cullen Large, 2B, 5th round – College of William & Mary
  • #31. Brock Lundquist, OF, 6th round – Cal State Long Beach
  • #44. Kacy Clemens, 1B, 8th round – University of Texas-Austin
  • #30. Donnie Sellers, RHP, 11th round – Wake Forest
  • #32. Matt Shannon, RHP, 12th round – Angelo State

I was told by one club official the six arrived in Vancouver less than two hours before game time but they did take part in pregame warmups. Adams was catching Carkuff in the bullpen before Carkuff’s appearance in the ninth.

The C’s have clinched their second straight series victory and will try to go for the sweep Thursday afternoon. Dalton Rodriguez is scheduled to throw the first pitch at 1:05 pm. You can hear the game at CanadiansBaseball.com.

Vancouver has won five of seven to start the season but the Tri-City Dust Devils remain in first place in the Northwest League North Division with a 6-1 record.

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C’s Recap – C’s Deep-Six Frogs With Six-Run Sixth In Home Opener


Norberto Obeso is greeted by his teammates during the lineup introductions for the home opener at Nat Bailey Stadium.

C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians shook off the effects of a long bus ride back from Eugene and overcame an early setback by a player named Eugene to defeat the Everett AquaSox 7-1 in their home opener at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday night.

Eugene Helder belted a solo home run off the A&W Slug the Mug sign in left-center field to give Everett a 1-0 lead just two batters in.  That was all C’s starter Jose Espada would allow as he pitched 4-2/3 innings of three-hit ball while walking one and striking out seven.

Espada would leave with a runner in scoring position after Osmy Guerrero walked and stole second. Lefty Juliandry Higuera came in and had trouble finding his form as he loaded the bases by hitting Ronald Rosario with a pitch and walking Joseph Rosa before striking out Helder to keep Everett off the board.

Vancouver had trouble with Everett starter Ryne Inman as he allowed just one baserunner through the first three innings in the form of a hit by pitch to Mattingly Romanin in the second. Bryan Lizardo came through with the C’s first hit with a two-out double in the fourth. Lizardo made it to third on a wild pitch and Owen Spiwak drew a walk but Inman froze Romanin on a 3-2 pitch for the inning-ending strikeout.

Vancouver would tie the game in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Lance Jones to score Deiferson Barreto after he and Kevin Vicuna singled and Reggie Pruitt reached base on an error at second.

The C’s would bolt ahead in the sixth and it started with a one-out walk to Spiwak to force Inman from the game. AquaSox reliever Matt Clancy could not find the strike zone as he walked Romanin on four straight pitches and it was all downhill from there for the Everett southpaw. Barreto doubled to score Spiwak to put Vancouver ahead and an error at short on a ground ball by Matt Morgan scored Romanin from third. Vicuna followed with a two-run double to score Barreto and Morgan, who tripped between third and home but managed to scramble his way across the pentagon. Lance Jones and Norberto Obeso would tack on run-scoring singles to plate Vicuna and Jones respectively.

Higuera got through the sixth and seventh by working around two singles that including an inning-ending 4-3 double play to end the seventh. Bobby Eveld came in the eight and gave up a double to Rosa to start the seventh but a good throw by Jones in right and a quick tag by the alert Vicuna led to Rosa getting called out after being slow to return to second base after rounding the bag. It was not a good night for Rosa on the basepaths as he was cut down at third in the third on the back half of a 5-3-6 inning-ending double play.

Chris Hall entered the game in the ninth and induced a nifty 6-4-3 double play to erase a leadoff walk. Brayden Bouchey came in to get the final out, a fly ball into Pruitt’s glove in center field to secure the victory.

Barreto and Vicuna were the hit leaders with two apiece while Lizardo doubled and walked. Spiwak walked twice while Romanin walked and took one for the team.

Radar Gun Report

radar_gun_iconJose Espada threw in the 91-94 MPH range with offspeed pitches from 82-84. Juliandry Higuera topped out at 95 and bottomed out at 79. Bobby Eveld reached 95 and was around 90-93. Chris Hall pitched in the 94-96 range while Brayden Bouchey had offerings from 80 to 86-88.


C's NotesAccording to the C’s press notes, Juan Nunez and Dalton Rodriguez will get the starts in the final two games of the series at the Nat. Wednesday’s game is at 7:05 pm and Thursday’s game is the first nooner of the season at 1:05 pm. The 4-2 C’s remain one game back of the Tri-City Dust Devils in the Northwest League’s North Division. Everett is 2-4 and Spokane is 3-3.

The tallest players on the Everett AquaSox played Tuesday in designated hitter Jonas Lantigua and starter Ryne Inman. Both of them are 6-foot-5. The tallest player to appear for the C’s were 6-foot-6 pitcher Brayden Bouchey and 6-foot-5 hurler Bobby Eveld.

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C’s Recap – C’s Get Out Of Eugene With Series Victory


Image courtesy of @VanCanadians.

C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians have a long bus ride back from Oregon but it will be made easier by the fact they won their first series of the season. The C’s wrapped up the five-game set with a 6-3 victory against the defending Northwest League champions at PK Park Monday.

Dany Jimenez retired 15 of 16 hitters over five innings but the one mistake he made was a solo home run off the bat of Zach Davis. That snapped a string of eight men retired in a row. Jimenez then responded by sitting down the next seven batters he faced to end his outing. He struck out five while his infielders converted six of his seven outs in play.

Norberto Obeso made sure Jimenez would not get tagged for the loss as he clubbed his first Northwest League home run by pulling a ball over the right field fence in the top of the fifth against Matt Swarmer, who only gave up a Deiferson Barreto base hit and a Yorman Rodriguez walk over his five-inning outing.

Vancouver had a bead on getting a lead in the sixth when Lance Jones made it to second on a two-out balk by Andin Diaz after forcing out Chavez Young who got aboard on a single. Instead, Rodriguez grounded out to second to end the inning.

Lefty Miguel Burgos entered the game in the bottom of the sixth and struck out the first man he faced before giving up a single and a double to put runners at second and third. He managed to induce a tapper back to the mound and he flipped the ball to catcher Javier Hernandez (who was assigned back to the team from Lansing) to get the runner coming in from third. With runners at the corners, Burgos committed a balk to give up the go-ahead run. He would get out of the inning with a ground ball to third.


P.K. Park in Eugene. Photo courtesy of CanadiansBaseball.com.

Hernandez led off the seventh and managed to reach base on a wild pitch by Andin after swinging and missing for strike three. Mattingly Romanin came in to pinch-run but he was erased on a Bryan Lizardo fielder’s choice. Obeso would get aboard on an error by Diaz who airmailed a throw from the mound to second base in an attempt to start an inning-ending double play. Lizardo rounded the second base bag a little too aggressively and was nearly picked off on the throw from the center fielder. Lizardo tried to get up and run to third but collided with one of the infielders before deciding to head back to second.

Diaz got the second out of the inning with a strikeout of Francisco Rodriguez but an error by Emeralds second baseman Edgar Rondon saw Lizardo scamper home with the tying run. The C’s then released the kraken with three hits leading to four runs, starting with Kevin Vicuna‘s base hit to right field to score Obeso with the go-ahead run. Young followed with a double to right field down the line to plate Barreto and Vicuna before Jones doubled to right to bring in Young.

Burgos came back out for the seventh and gave up a leadoff single before getting a 6-4-3 double play ball. Vicuna ranged well to his left and was near the second base bag before flipping it to Barreto to second to start the twin-killing. It was an inning of redemption for Vicuna after a three-error game Saturday. That double play was huge as Burgos served up a solo homer to Kwang-Min Kwon to cut Vancouver’s lead to three.

After Burgos finished up the seventh, William Ouellette took over in the eighth and whiffed the first two men he faced. However, he made things interesting by yielding a single and a walk and uncorking a wild pitch to bring the tying run to the dish. That threat was snuffed out on a flyout to center fielder Reggie Pruitt, who entered the game defensively to start the eighth.

Ouellette came back out for the ninth and gave up a single to Gustavo Polanco while uncorking two wild pitches to move Polanco to third. Ouellette would end the game on a fly ball to Jones in right to seal the deal for the C’s.

Young had the only two-hit game for Vancouver, who were outhit 7-6 but the C’s came up with three consecutive hits with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-4.

Vancouver heads home with a 3-2 record in the Northwest League North Division, leaving them one game behind the 4-1 Tri-City Dust Devils. Up next for the C’s are the 2-3 Everett AquaSox for the first of three games at Nat Bailey Stadium. The home opener and the second game are set for 7:05 pm Tuesday and Wednesday with the series finale at 1:05 Thursday afternoon.

Tuesday’s game can be heard on TSN 1040 and seen on Shaw TV in Vancouver.

C's NotesJavier Hernandez— the Ossie Chavarria Fans Choice Award winner of 2016 – wore number 20 last season but those digits now belong to Miguel Burgos. Hernandez is now wearing number 29. He had a Northwest League-best 55 assists from the catcher’s position last year.


The catching situation is about to get more crowded. Hernandez, Matt Morgan and Owen Spiwak will be joined by Riley Adams, a catcher from the University of San Diego and the Blue Jays’ third-round pick of the 2017 draft. You can get the low down on Adams here. Yorman Rodriguez was also listed as a catcher on the Opening Day roster but has now been moved to the infield section of the team’s roster.

The infield population will increase by one with the arrival of first baseman Kacy Clemens to YVR. The son of Roger was taken in the eighth round of the draft out of the University of Texas. Shi Davidi has a story on the younger Clemens right here.

Two alumni stories…Sportsnet has a piece on 2014 C’s designated Rowdy Tellez and his father figure and Baseball America files this update on 2013-2014 lefty Jairo Labourt (subscription needed).

Finally, some excellent photos taken by Brian Davies of The Register-Guard in Eugene can be found here, here, here and here.

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C’s Recap – Series Between Em’s-C’s Squared

ems6cs1.jpgImage courtesy of @VanCanadians.

C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians have dropped to .500 on the season. The Eugene Emeralds evened up the series at two games apiece by downing the C’s 6-1 on Father’s Day at P.K. Park.

The Emeralds scored in five straight innings, opening the scoring on a Gustavo Polanco home run off Canadians starter Wilfri Aleton in the second inning. The Em’s added to their lead on a two-out rally that started with a triple and concluded with three singles and a throwing error by left fielder Norberto Obeso that produced a pair of runs.

Aleton was roughed up for five runs on 11 hits and was one out short of five innings, striking out two and walking one. Orlando Pascual stranded two runners for Aleton but he gave up the other run on two hits while striking out one over 1-1/3 innings. Jared Carkuff finished up with two scoreless frames of one-hit ball that featured a pair of strikeouts.

The C’s only run came on their first home run of the season as Bryan Lizardo went deep to right-center field in the fifth inning. Matt Morgan drew a two-out walk and Chavez Young was hit by a pitch to bring the potential tying run up to the plate in Reggie Pruitt but he grounded out into a force play at third to end the inning. Pruitt’s at-bat was the one and only time Vancouver had a runner in scoring position. The C’s would not get another baserunner until Mattingly Romanin worked a one-out walk in the ninth. The first C’s hit was a two-out single by Owen Spiwak.

Young stayed on the bases after getting plunked on the right arm by Enrique De Los Rios but Lance Jones took over in right field in the bottom of the fifth.

The fifth and deciding game of the series goes Monday night at 7:05 with Dany Jimenez on the hill. MiLB.TV and CanadiansBaseball.com will have the broadcasts of that one.


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C’s Recap – C’s Suffer First Loss Of The Season To Emeralds


Image courtesy of @VanCanadians.

C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians looked to be on their way to a third straight victory but the Eugene Emeralds rallied in the second half of the game to post their first win of the season by a score of 4-2 Saturday night.

Reggie Pruitt started the game by lining a double to center field and Chavez Young was plunked by a pitch. Owen Spiwak would drove them home with a two-run double to give the C’s the early lead. They would only get one hit the rest of the way when Young got a one-out single in the eighth. Mattingly Romanin drew a two-out walk in the sixth, stole second and made it to third on an errant throw but Jesus Severino struck out to end the rally.

Despite the lack of hitting, it appeared that early 2-0 lead was going to hold up as Kyle Weatherly shut down the Em’s in the first five innings on two hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. He struck out five, produced eight groundouts and successfully navigated around a couple of errors by shortstop Kevin Vicuna. Weatherly’s greatest escape was inducing a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the sixth.

Weatherly returned to the mound for the sixth but his luck ran out. Vicuna misplayed a ball lined right at him for his third error of the night and that eventually led to a two-run double by Gustavo Polanco that chased Weatherly from the game. Lefty Grayson Huffman came in and retired the first two men he faced but a broken-bat double down the left field line by Jhonny Bethencourt plated what turned out to be the winning run. Huffman would retire the next three hitters in a row before giving way to Brayden Bouchey with two outs and nobody on in the seventh. A walk and two singles later, the Emeralds doubled their lead. Pruitt made a strong throw from center field on the second base hit by Miguel Amaya and it arrived at the plate in time but Spiwak could not hold on to the ball.

Bouchey returned for the eighth and walked Connor Myers, who proceeded to steal second and third. Bouchey struck out a batter and got a fly ball out before Miguel Burgos relieved him. Burgos would ring up Jose Gonzalez on a called strike three to strand Myers at third.

Wilfri Aleton gets the ball next for Sunday’s game at P.K. Park. First pitch is at 1:05 pm and can be seen on MiLB.TV and heard on CanadiansBaseball.com.

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